George Will's Sept. 12 op-ed rant against the Equal Rights Amendment contained a few errors of fact. First, he offered a 1971 Supreme Court holding on the equal protection clause as "evidence that the ERA might be a legal redundancy." Never mind that in landmark cases as far back as Frontiero in 1973 and Bakke in 1978 the court has made clear it will not consider gender discrimination on a par with racial and ethnic discrimination in equal protection cases until women's rights to equality are acknowledged in the Constitution.

Second, Mr. Will looked back at ratification history to contrast the decades-long movement to ratify the ERA with the average time required for approval by three-fourths of the states. But this contrast depends on one huge exception: Forget the 203 years it took to ratify the most recent amendment. That is the 27th, about compensating members of Congress, and it may not be a unique exception: A child labor amendment has been before the states since 1926.

Third, contrary to Mr. Will's assertion, two amendments have been proposed without time limits since 1917: the child labor amendment, which may yet be ratified, and women's right to vote, proposed to the states in 1919 and ratified in 1920.


Vandalia, Ill.